tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 5, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm EDT
cuts to medicare and medicaid, and some senate republicans say they're opening the door at least to raising some new revenue. >> now do you believe that tax reform is necessary? i would say absolutely. there's not enough time to get this done between now and august 27bd. it ought to be the first thing we turn to to make our tax code more rational. >> we'll ask senator john cornyn this hour if republicans are ready to compromise on taxes. hot dogs, hamburgers and handshakes. the presidential candidates were on parade this weekend practically tripping over each other in iowa and new hampshire. while in aspen, former president bill clinton games the republican field. just in time for tomorrow's white house twitter town hall, vice president joe biden joins the twitter verse, but can he keep it to just 140 characters? . and this hour final countdown, the end of the shuttle era begins.
we'll talk to jay barberry who was there when the space age began. good day i'm andrea mitchell reporting live from washington. we begin on capitol hill where democrats and republicans cut their vacation short as the deadline for a potential default moves. will they cut a deal in time? luke russert is msnbc's capitol hill correspondent. let's talk about whether there is some wiggle room. >> both sides now have really moved into this area where they both feel they have the high ground. democrats feel they're being -- they're making effective arguments against republicans saying the republicans want to preserve corporate debts and have tax breaks and those type of thins. they're making some inroads there. republicans say no. we have the high ground because no one wants to raise taxes in difficult economic times. that's where the argument is in terms of today. a lot of senators were upset they had to be called back this is their fourth of july recess.
there's supposedly meetings between the white house and senate and big game players later this beak. in erms the of a deal we're getting a real date, not necessarily august 2nd, but july 22nd. why? there's a ten-day period needed for the congressional budget office to score any type of compromise as well as you're going to have to sell this compromise to the members. house republicans have been steadfast they don't want any tax increases to consider any type of compromise. speaker boehner needs some time to sell that to his members. >> you're talking about political high ground. you're not talking about the substance. i want to ask you about libya. there is a procedural vote the first step on the kerry-minnesota cane resolution on libya what do you see there? >> it's around 5:30 p.m. today. it really is a procedural vote on the mccain-kerry libya resolution which says for one year the u.s. should allow -- there should be force in libya, u.s. backed force with no ground
troops. to one democratic aide said they really don't know how this vote the going to come come out. there is speculation that you can see an interesting sort of bedfellows of very pro military republicans and democrats. but also some deficit republicans saying it's a waste of money and some dove liberals saying we don't want to be engaged in libya. no idea if this resolution will pass. >> it's rare that they have a vote on something so important libya where you can't really figure out which side the lining up and how the vote's going to go. thanks. >> take care. >> we'll be following it with you. and turning back to the battle of the budget, both sides are look for leverage in the ongoing stand off over the debt ceiling. chuck todd is nbc news chief what are you hearing from your white house sources? >> reporter: right now they're kind of mum when it comes to whether they're going to accept
the invitation tomorrow to go to capitol hill as harry reid put out. we do know this -- i can tell you what we know as the facts. the press briefing was delayed two and a half hours. anytime we have had press briefings delayed that long period of time it means they're planning it around the president's schedule. there's nothing right now in the schedule that allows for public comment from the president. one wouldn't be surprised if we hear from him sometime this afternoon about the debt, deficit depending on the schedule where he'll lay out is he going to capitol hill tomorrow, what's the deal with republicans? right now there's a couple of folks on capitol hill not saying anything. there seems -- >> he's meeting with his new defense chief leon panetta. they've got two wars, plus libya to deal with. he's meeting with ryan crocker the new ambassador to
afghanistan. you've got to talk about public service and american heroes. this is a man who finally refire tired from government after taking every tough job, iraq, beirut, every war zone as ambassador. now he's signed on to come back and go to afghanistan. you've got a lot going on behind the scenes as well. >> reporter: that's right. but politically, the thing that is front and center is the debt. these debt talks because it's so tied to the economy. and while he does want to support a vote on libya which is another thing on the docket this week, the irony the president guilted harry reid to calling the senate back in and the first order of business is libya, not the debt talks. because it was the president that guilted congress into coming back this week, at least the house was scheduled to come back tomorrow, you've got to assume he is going to try to do everything he can to jump start a negotiating session. don't forget that's what we're at a deadlock. we're not at a deadlock over plans. we're at a deadlock over the
next time these guys are going to talk. that's how far behind these talks are at this point. >> a legendary "the new york times" reporter on this issue reported that they had under the biden talks reached some tentative, very tentative agreements on big cuts in medicare and medicaid from the white house side. if there was some give from the republicans on taxes. is that basically the parameters of where they still there? >> here's what i understand it talking to a democrat involved with the talk. they gained about $1.5 trillion in cuts. consider that the floor. if the ceiling is sort of $5 trillion. they got to a floor where both sides had agreed to about $1.5 trillion. that included unspecified cuts about $200 billion in medicaid and $200 billion in medicare. supposedly not on beneficiaries, might be some premium increases in that respect.
but that's where medicare and medicaid were. the question was how could they get to $2, $2.5 trillion. to get there the price as far as the white house was concerned had to do with more of these tax loopholes, closing them. we're talking about $200 to $300 billion total the ticking point in tax revenue loopholes. nothing in this case nothing specifically targeted at the average taxpayer. >> okay. chuck todd on top of it all from the white house. if you see a tall guy come walking into the briefing room, give us a shout. >> reporter: there's a big tree deal today. it's all about the trees today. massive storm clean up. >> that's been going on since that big storm the other night. exactly, the white house really did lose a lot of important trees. >> reporter: take a look at the tree behind me. that tree may not be here
tomorrow. it's in bad shape. >> we'll take that picture right now. and hang on to it. chuck todd, thank you. and t minus 43. the can'tdown is officially underway this hour for the final space shuttle launch. atlantis is set to launch at 11:26 eastern friday morning. nasa's weather official says a 60% chance of rain could possibly delay the historic launch. jay is in florida with more and joins me now by skype. you were at the beginning of the space age this is the end of the shuttle era. what are we going to lose by not continuing to launch space shuttles and to rely on russians and ors? >> well, you know, andrea, american astronaut astronauts will continue to go to the space station. they will be riding russian spacecraft. i've been talking with a nasa
administrator who is a shuttle astronaut himself, he tells me that they pretty well got the act back together now. they've had a lot of problems with trying to get where do we go from here after they cancelled the constellation program. they're going into a second space race, if you will. they are going in a space race with commercial people. so they expect boeing and space ex to probably have them back in space. they expect to get those first flights in 2016 and five years it will only be a few years after that you probably will see astronauts going to the first asteroid and that will be something to look forward to. >> indeed it will. >> there will be there. but not as long as we thought they would be. >> jay, just thinking back to when in 1957 or i don't have the date exactly fixed in my mind,
the beginning space age with sputnik and how there was this huge gap where we were caught flat footed and the president pushed us forward in so many ways. did you ever imagine that we would be, you know, cooperating with the russians and relying with them to take our astronauts to the space shuttle? >> not now. no way. you know, that was up until 1975. you remember you and i covered jimmy carter together. >> yes, we did. >> andrea was in elementary school then. but we covered -- >> just a kid reporter. >> and after that i came back down here and we had first shuttle launch on april 12th, 1981. since then, there's been 134, number 135 is coming up friday or this weekend if the weather is bad. and that will make a total of 166 missions.
and thank goodness, knock on wood, i've been healthy and have covered them all. it's been quite a ride. >> you are amazing. what a ride it is. thank you so much, jay. i know you're going to be there. tamron hall will lead msnbc's coverage of the launch friday morning. don't miss it. up next right here, republican senator john cornyn opening the door to tax revenue for a budget compromise or is he? send me your thoughts on twitter. ...was it something big? ...or something small? ...something old?
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raising tax rates. not if it's not revenue neutral. with me texas republican senator john cornyn who's on the budget and finance committees. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. >> i wanted to clarify your position. you did say that some tax reform couldn't be done by august 2nd. but some future tax reform that would close loopholes would be acceptable. you wanted it to be revenue neutral. that means no extra money to the pot. do i have that position correct? >> that's correct. that's what i saw president clint talked about making us more can competitive to businesses don't send jobs overseas because our tax rate and regulatory regime is more reasonable they would grow those jobs here at home. >> i was there when president clinton made those statements he was being interviewed in aspen this weekend. he said the president should not
blink. that he should require something back on the tax side. but that there could be -- republicans have not been willing to agrow to any revenues? >> that's right. we're for making government smaller not bigger. it seems disingenuous to say we're going to cut spending and raise taxes. and frankly i think that during a fragile economic recovery like this higher taxes are going to discourage job creation which at 9.1% is completely should be off the table. now after we finished this negotiation leading up to the debt ceiling increase on august 2nd, i think the next thing we should turn to should be tax reform. something like the sitson boles commission recommended. i think you see a lot of appetite for making the tax code simpler, flatter and fair.
>> senator, david brooks wrote today in "the new york times" that this is the mother of all no brainers for republicans. he says if the republican party were a normal party, his words, not mine, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. it's being offered the deal of the century. trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few million of revenue increases. a normal republican party would seize the opportunity. it would seize the opportunity to put the country on a sound fiscal footing. it would seize the opportunity to do these things without putting a crimp in economic growth. his point is that the republican party is now a captive of tea party activists and isn't taking a deal that they ought to take. >> mr. brooks is not listening to the same people i'm listening to which are my constituents. i don't think the message that he got from the november election was the same message i got. now we're spending 43 cents out of every dollar is borrowed money. the national debt's $14.3 trillion and threatens a
sovereign debt crisis unless we deal with it and there's no national monetary fund to big the united states out if we turn out like greece. it's premature to be beclairing who is reasonable and not. negotiations really didn't start seriously until the president himself got personally engaged and ultimately only he and mitch mcconnell and john boehner are the ones that are able to make a deal. it's going to have to pass through the house of representatives and it's going to have to pass through the senate. that's why i think when president clinton said it may be too late to get a comprehensive dole and only a mini deal done to kick the can down the road but to get the cuts we can, that may be the practical outcome here. it's really too early to say. >> what about pocketing what the democrats did offer during the biden talks, medicaid and medicare cuts and going along with some future promises on revenue changes which basicale
loopholes. the president -- aren't there ways that you can raise some money by closing some of the loopholes and reducing some of the things that would not hurt the economy, but would be making the tax code fairer and flatter? >> well, it's as if the president woke up last week at the press conference and took up an issue that really was an initiated with his own bipartisan commission last december where they said as part of tax reform we need to bring down the top corporate rate so we make america more cometive globally. one way we do that is by reducing tax exemptions. tax expenditures many the like. let me be as clear as i know how, we're not for raising taxes through the front door or back door during a fragile economic recovery, we think that would make unemployment worse, not better.
that's the bottom line as far as i'm concerned. >> i heard you say over the weekend that you are going to vote against senate mccain and senator kerry and offer an algtive. what are you trying to accomplish with your alternative when it hits the floor? >> this afternoon it's ironic, there's a lot of irony in washington as you know, the president sort of lambastes the congress for not dealing with the debt limit increase, what does senator reid turn to first but the libya war resolution. well, i think there are a lot of us who feel to that extent the president was right that senator reid and the democrats in congress need to come one a proposal. so far it's only been republicans and the president and democratic leaders have done nothing but criticize theirs and haven't even passed a budget in the last 60 days. we'd like to see a proposal on the budget and getting spending under control. and hopefully get a resolution that will allow us to deal with the debt ceiling by august 2nd.
i don't think that accomplishes that by turning now to the libyan war resolution and seeking a retroactive approval of the president's actions when he should have come to congress months ago. >> senator john cornyn, thank you very much. thanks for joining us today. >> thanks, andrea. is newt gingrich's campaign in the red? we'll find out whom he's blaming for that? here's a hint, it's not tiffany's. time for the your business entrepreneur of the week. mark and jennifer bitterman were riding through france when they had a great meal and discovered it was due to a special salt that was used. they brought it back. sold it in their portland, oregon, store, the meadow. word of month brought in customers and famous chefs and an expansion to new york city. for for watch "your business" sunday mornings on msnbc.
staking his claim to iowa with michele bachmann so far out in front? >> this does seem the be the bet that gingrich is placing. he said last month he was going to spend 12 days in iowa in july. this is ahead of the straw poll which is a little more than a month away. if he were able to exceed expectations which are pretty low for him at this point, it might put some spark into his campaign, allow him to get some attention at the debates in the fall. as you say, it's a bit of a long shot. >> he told "the l.a. times" yesterday, the fact is a month of plead ya barrage is painful and it's slowed a lot of things down. our numbers would not be as good as we like. and candidly the consultants left us in debt. he paid them. he hired them. but in any case, he's blaming what he is foreshadowing a bad second quarter report on the consultants? >> he sure is. he doesn't explicitly say in
that quote my campaign will be in debt when our numbers come out later this month. he pretty much goes right up on the edge there. he is placing blame elsewhere for a number of his problems on the consultants for the money, on the media for the money and for his poll numbers. it's not really clear that gingrich has gone through the steps of recovery this you need in order to get your campaign back on track after some pretty ugly early decisions. >> okay. alex burns thank you very much. >> thank you. up next, republicans bufferining into each other in new hampshire and iowa. the first of many rival run-ins in this crowded presidential field. we're tracking all of the candidates. plus, are we being told all the facts about that oil spill near yellowstone? and the latest on the clean up effort in montana. this is "andrea mitchell reports" only on msnbc. but it just tastes like fruit. and try our deliciously refreshing v8 v-fusion + tea.
verdict in the casey anthony case. nbc news and msnbc have not independently confirmed that yet. right now the associated press is reporting a verdict. lawyer paul co-when joins me now from 30 rock. paul, what do we make of this? it would be a very convict verdict indeed after all these weeks of testimony. >> this is really, really surprising. there were 63 witnesses called many the case. a lot of scientific evidence. you have a jury that would be deliberating over whether to come back with a first-degree murder charge which would involve possible death penalty implications. usually juries are out for much longer than this in a case with this kind of high profile. i'm very, very surprised if they're coming back with a verdict. it would -- >> and confirm that msnbc has now confirm that had the verdict
will be read in the courtroom at 2:15. this comes from our producer inside the courtroom. so this is now beyond the associated press. there is a verdict. it will be read in the courtroom at 2 sln 15. paul, we know from all of our reporting that there are two ways that this jury could get to a first-degree conviction if this were a conviction. one would be premed dated first degree. the other way would be based on the circumstantial evidence that it was accidental death and a cover up. the jury doesn't have to agree. all 12 do not have to agree on the count. there could be a mixed verdict of that sort. can you clarify? >> well there are -- there are a variety of conditions that have to be met ar a first-degree murder conviction. they all don't have to agree on the same subset of conditions. in other words, one set of jurors could check off that it was premed dated and she intended to do it. another set of jurors could
agree on a different point with respect to the degree of recklessness that was involved, which can lead to a particular count. but that would be very, very surprising to me. i mean, the very fact that this jury is coming back this quickly would suggest that they coalesced very quickly on the case and have reached agreement. i'm betting they're going to be unanimous on whatever the theory is. either there's no case or there's a very, very serious case against casey anthony. they got the case yesterday after the rebuttal summation by the prosecutor. they didn't have a lot of time to deliberate since yesterday. and so this is a very, very fast verdict. >> and to my knowledge there have been no notes passed to the judge for clarification at all or rereading testimony as sometimes takes place. paul, please standby with us. right now we've got kerry sanders who has covered this
trial from the very beginning. kerry, you were there for this powerful closing argument where the rebuttal argument only yesterday from the prosecution really went after the key theory of the defense. >> reporter: indeed. i'm struck by the fact i just did the math, i think it's been 11 thundershowers now, andrea that the jury has been out between going out at noon or just slightly after 12:09 on july fourth and deliberating to around 6:00 and coming back this morning at 8:34. this is what the experts would tell you not good news for the excused. when a jury comes back quickly, statistically it usually means that it is for the prosecution. it doesn't mean it's happened here. it usually mean it's for the prosecution. the closing arguments were powerful. initially it was the state. prosecutor jeff ashton laying
the case out. and weaving the 34, 33 days of testimony into a story. he took 77 minutes and eight seconds and then he sat down. and then it was the defense's opportunity to rebut. soho say baez launched into his rebuttal saying there were phantom forensics. that there was no solid case that put casey anthony at the murder scene. there were no forensics. he called them phantom forensics that showed that casey anthony had taken duct tape and pulled it over caylee's mouth. casey was involved even in a murder and that caylee had even been murdered that was because the medical examiner had reached the conclusion that caylee was a victim of homicide of undetermined means. the jury did not have to or does
not have to come to a conclusion of how the murder took place. just that there was a murder and who they're going to affix the blame to if anybody. so now we have the jury we're told coming back -- go ahead. >> i wanted to play a little bit of the prosecutor close that you just referred to and bring both you and paul in on the other side. let me play it. >> any way you slice it, any way you put it together, casey anthony is guilty of murder in the first degree. >> if this truly was an accident in the pool, caylee anthony would have been found floating in the pool not floating in a swamp down the street. >> kerry, you just described how powerful that was. those short clips give you a sense of the two prrgts who spoke in the rebuttal. paul, what was your impression
about the prosecution and the defense in the close, and do you think it was those powerful prosecution arguments that may have led to a unanimous verdict here? >> yes, i think there were powerful closing arguments particularly by the prosecutor. ashton, his story, his ability to weave the facts into a compelling story i think moved the case in the prosecutor's direction. i'm really going to be stunned if it's a defense verdict here. the defense on the other hand, always had problems. the biggest problem that baez had in the case, i think, was by making that promise that we was going to prove a swimming pool accident and that george anthony, the father was involved in covering up the killing. that is such a hard thing for him to deliver on with the jury. he would have to put his client on the stand or he would have to get george anthony to break down and confess. none of those things happened during the trial.
so i think when you compare the closings on the two sides, i found the prosecutor's closing to appeal to not only common sense but also science and to be much more -- than the defense closing statement which was unfocused, i thought. it remains to be seen how the verdict will come down. now, you were asking me earlier, i was looking at the statute here. there were two separate sections of murder in the first degree. one is they have to prove that it was premed dated that she intended to do it. obviously if the jury felt that she used chloroform and used the duct tape as was so graphically described, i think this case is all about the duct tape in that closing arguments, you're going to see a premed dated count. you can also be found guilty under first degree if the death occurs as a consequence of aggravated child abuse. so some jurors might have decided on that as a theory, while others might have decided
on premed dated if in fact it's a guilty verdict. of course, the jury could have looked at this and said, the evidence just isn't there beyond a reasonable doubt. we'll know that shortly. >> and former prosecutor jay joins us on the phone. some people have suggested this is a circumstantial case with no eye witnesses, obviously, since she was the only person who could have been an eye witness and she chose, which is her right not to testify that that somehow would weaken the case many the jury ice mind. do you think the way that the prosecutors wove that narrative overcomes or could potentially could likely overcome those doubts? >> what i think is i think they have overcome it. given all the circumstantial evidence and the way that the prosecution weaved the facts before the jury, i think that they could come back with first-degree murder.
i do however feel that -- i thought it would have taken them longer to reach first-dug mrd or even aggravated child abuse verdict. i thought there were not enough facts for more argument in the jury room. i'm surprised that they've come back this early. >> our colleague savannah guthrie joins us from new york. savannah an attorney and our legal correspondent. tell us about the weight of all of this given if they come back with a first-degree conviction on either of those counts that we're talking about a capital offense and a second phase of the trial. >> sorry, andrea, i didn't catch that you were talking to me. that is correct. if it's a first-degree murder conviction then we have the penalty phase of the trial. it's almost like another trial again. the only issue being whether or not she gets the death penalty. there would be opening statements, there would be witnesses, there would be closing arguments. it would really feel like a
second trial. it would be the same jury and i believe the alternates, there were alternates in this case they probably would be kept along as well just in case they were needed. the jury deliberating about ten hours. i have to say i don't know what your other guests have said, i just sat down here, i'm kind of surprised at how quickly this verdict has come back. i'll give you the conventional wisdom with the warning that i think anything can happen in a criminal case particularly a high profile one. but generally people say when the verdict comes back quickly that's good for the prosecution. if a verdict takes days and days or weeks, generally people think that's good for the defense because people assume the jurors are fighting, arguing, they can't agree or somebody is holding up the jury. there's one who's deadlocking the jury in. this case, i don't know what to make of it. the verdict form is so long. the instructions were complicated i thought even if they came back with a conviction it would just take a while to
sort out the different charges. so, you know, i think we'll all be in suspension as we wait for the verdict which will be read at 2:15 eastern. >> i'm looking at the jury instructions. the judge's instructions to the jury run 26 pams. not complete pages, but 26 pages. so as you point out, conventional wisdom -- there are so many stages in what a jury traditionally or most, most usually does that it does seem to be very unusual that they would come back this way. not come back with a question, but to come back with a verdict and obviously a unanimous having one way or the other. >> it does take time. for a moment you have to think about the task that these jurors faced. six weeks of testimony. they were not permitted to discuss anything that they had heard with each other or anybody else. then they get sent back there with all of this testimony, all
of this evidence. the long introductions. this nine-page verdict form. and the only real instruction they're told about how to deliberate is to elect a foreperson. other than that, it's up to them. it's up to any jury. they have to sort it out for themselves how should we approach the evidence. in covering a lot of cases over the years and talking to jurors afterwards, it's my experience that they usually do as you say, take a straw poll. i think some of the counts in this indictment they could have dispensed with fairly quickly. there are four counts of lying to a law enforcement official. there is little doubt that she did that and the defense all but acknowledged it. this issue of first-degree murder is a very complicated one. and they were instructed not only to they could convict on first-degree murder but if they failed to find a first-degree murder charge they could look at second-degree murder. they could look at manslaughter, an aggravated child abuse charge. it's extremely coverage katd, that's why all the more
remarkable that they were able to reach in verdict in ten hours. >> as you could imagine, outside the courthouse probably mayhem. i want to go to rozzy franco an independent journalist outside the courthouse right now. what is happening right there? >> there's a lot of emotion outside of the courthouse right now. there's a lot of people who have been lining up all morning and some folks say they're really excited about reaching closure in the case. i've heard that more than three or four times. you know, the orlando community has lived through this sordid reality for the past three years. and most of the community wants it over. some folks just feel like it's quite a spectacle and they want to be here and they want to see the reaction of other people once the verdict is read. >> and of course, then if it were to be a conviction, if it does turn out to be a conviction then they go into the penalty phase. as i understand the judge's instructions, the alternate jurors will still be kept, still
sequestered that will be an even more important burden for this jury because that is a question of life and death. >> absolutely. and that's what some folks here are waiting obviously for the verdict. umt matly they want to know if casey anthony will be convicted of the death penalty. >> savannah guthrie, if you're still there, i want to ask you about a sort of gender issues if you will. the break down of the jury, male and female and people who have been parents on that jury. some have suggested it would be very, very hard for anyone who had parented a child, had a family to even conceive of what casey anthony has been accused of doing. >> indeed -- >> without total horror. maybe that is a generalization, i think anyone would be horrified by the idea of killing a child and using duct tape and chloroform if that's indeed what happened. it does pull at the emotional
strings of someone who has been a parent. >> it definitely does. not only that, andrea, i think the fact of being a parent for some of those jurors is how they analyze how casey anthony acted after her daughter died. i mean, even if you believe the defense theory lock, stock and barrel, then you have to believe that casey anthony her daughter drowned in a pool and that she covered it up with her father and then gal vanted around orlando for 31 days never mentioning -- it would be hard for a parent to comprehend or understand. the prosecutors paint a picture that is much more damning than that. a lot of jury consultants who do this for a living will tell you that female jurors tend to be harder particularly on female defendants on this jury there are seven women and five men. i always put the calf yat all these generalizations only get
you so far really in a high profile case anything can happen. but there's certainly jurors with children and they will analyze -- they were analyzing her actions in light of their own experiences. the law tells them to do that, to bring their common sense into the jury room. >> this those closing arguments, kerry sandsers if you're still there outside the courthouse, in the closing arguments the prosecutor did show the picture of her dancing, the picture of the tattoo. you heard the audio tape. so they were trying in that closing argument to communicate a different casey anthony than the tearful woman that the jury saw instead. in some of your reporting over the last few weeks you showed her demeanor was very different when the jury was out of the room. kerry? >> indeed. at times during this trial when the jury was out of the room show was seemingly nonchalant. at other times when the jury was in the room she was with her head bowed or in tears or she was crying. i'm sure that her lawyers had
told her that a quick verdict would not be good. she has been held when she is not in the courtroom in a jail cell here just outside the courtroom. she'll be brought back in to the courtroom in looking at the picture of the courtroom now in a short period of time. you know, the thing that struck me in that closing argument was that one of the prosecutors did a very effective presentation because it was the state that got the final world. and she played that audiotape, that phone call, the very first phone call that casey anthony made home after she was arrested. it was almost as if she let the jurors have only one place to look as that call was playing because the prosecutor was standing directly in front of the jury box and behind her was casey anthony. but as that call played, she turned her shoulder and walked
away from the jury causing the jury to look ahead at only one person and that was casey anthony. and then sort of as a final visual aid she put up on the screen for them that photograph of the tattoo, the new ink that she got on her back just two weeks after her daughter caylee was dead. bella vida in italian means beautiful life. juxtaposed to that picture was a photograph of casey anthony out dancing. that photograph taken weeks after her daughter died. a very powerful image left to the jurors. it wasn't supposed to be like this. the state was supposed to close and then the defense would close and then the state would close and it would be done. it dragged over two days there was a moment during the defense attorney arguments that bay yez pointed at ashton pointed and he
had a smile on his face. that became a disruption that caused a delay forcing this into a second day, giving the state the final word on a fresh day, andrea? >> kerry, just moments ago and right now what you're looking at is the door to the courtroom. and that of course, is awaiting this 2:15 reading of the verdict. but moments ago, we saw the casey anthony's parents as you can see there. he in the blue shirt and his wife in green. how painful this has been for them. let's talk for a second about her defense which is basically i believe kerry, you've been there every day, to blame the parents for potential cover up. >> yes. >> and how difficult is it -- let me ask you about in the closing argument, how did the prosecutions try to punture that defense by showing the way the parents responded to their grandchild's being missing as
contrasted to the way the mother did? >> they focused on george anthony that was the main claim main claim by the defense that caylee drowned in the backyard swimming pool, and george found her body and then conspired with his daughter casey to hide her body and cover it all up. and so, the prosecution effectively asked, why would anybody make an accident look like a murder? it just doesn't make sense. and of course, the prosecution was saying, make it look like a murder, because caylee's body was found in the woods with three pieces of duct tape covering the nose and the mouth. and that was very damning when the medical examiner took the stand during this trial and said, before death or after death, there is no reason any child, any person should have duct tape across their nose and mouth. and so, there was no other conclusion according to the medical examiner than to say
that this was indeed a homicide. >> savannah guthrie, i wanted to pick up on that point, because the three strips of duct tape seemed to me to be really some compelling bits of evidence. is this the way that prosecutors rely on a circumstantial case when they don't have an eyewitness to a crime? >> indeed. we have talked a lot about the circumstantial case as we have covered this particular one, and sometimes people say, well, a circumstantial case is a weak case and not a strong case, but that is not actually true. a circumstantial evidence case can be incredibly powerful. in this case, the prosecutors have argued that she placed the three pieces of duct tape over the nose and mouth of her little girl. they say that in so doing, she premeditated this crime. in other words, it was not just the first placing of the tape over the child's mouth and nose, but it was the second and the
third, and by the time you got to the third, it was sufficient to have a premeditated crime. what was interesting is that in the trial, there was also evidence of casey anthony doing computer searches for the word chloroform and some other kinds of suspicious words on the computer, and of course, the prosecutors have theorized given high levels of chloroform this the trunk of the car according to the prosecution witnesses that perhaps casey anthony had chloroformed her daughter to date her or worse to suffocate her, but in closing arguments, the prosecutors never brought up those computer searches again which was kind of surprising to me, but a if the jurors believed it, if they believed in march 2008 she had been doing computer searches for a word like chloroform, three months before the baby died, that would be powerful evidence potentially of the premeditation, but given the fact that cindy anthony, casey's mother, went on the stand and said she made the searches which
was rebutted in the state's rebuttal case, and maybe the prosecutor said to drop it, because the placing of three pieces of duct tape over the child's mouth is sufficient for premeditation. and the reason we are focusing on pre-mmeditation is because a premeditated murder is one path to first-degree murder which is the death penalty crime in florida. >> and savannah, you can imagine they did not want to get into perhaps muddying or confusing the jury with the possibility that cindy anthony to try to save her daughter's life potentially would have misled the jury and perhaps be in trouble, herself. it is enough to show this other circumstantial ed. we see now george and cindy anthony sitting there in the courtroom, and that door on the right of our screen is the door through which casey anthony will come when she is about to hear the verdict which will affect
the rest of her life. savannah, you have watched a lot of trials, and you are a lawyer and kerry sanders has been there since day one and this is about as dramatic as it gets, a mother a young mother accused of murdering her own child. savannah? >> indeed. having covered a lot of trials, there is no more tense moment thans tmoments than the one we are looking another right there, the moments before the verdict is read and when you are in the courtroom waiting for the jury, it is incredibly tense, and you can hear a pin drop and nobody is talking and everybody has the anticipation and as you point out all of the more so in this particular case, it is so high profile and so many people have watched ate and the stakes could not be higher, because it is a death penalty case. for now, all anyone can do is to wait. the jurors are back there and they have the verdict. when they come out there, jn rally spera -- generally speaking, sometimes
the clerk reads the verdict or sometimes a member of the jury reads the verdict. and after the verdict is read, the defense lawyer will request that each member of the jury will be polled to say specifically, that is my verdict. so don't be surprised if we see something like that in this case. and while we have a moment to chat here, andrea. in this case, the jurors have two options to convict on first-degree murder if they wanted to. they could either find the crime was premeditated which we talked about which is a first-degree murder conviction or find her guilty of what is called felony murder. that is if she had committed the murder of aggravated child abuse, and they found that the child died as a result of that, and not that she intentionally killed the child, but committed aggravated child abuse and the child died because of it, that is considered first degree felony murder, and in florida unlike many other states, first degree felony murder is death penalty-eligible, and one other
note i will make on it, the jurors do not have to be unanimous about which theory of first-degree murder, and the six could think it is felony and six premeditated, but all that matters is that they are unanimous in believing it is first-degree murder. >> as we continue to watch the door through which casey anthony will go, you pointed out that the defense likely in many of the cases ask to poll the jurors on the off chance that under the pressure or the glare of the courtroom someone will say they have changed their minds or someone will panic and have a change of mind, and that is the possibility of a mistrial. that is kind of a hail mary pass at the end of a long trial. >> true. and to preserve the record for appeal. >> and you are going to be staying there as well, of course, and kerry sanders and the whole team. tamron hall is going to stand by, because tamron hall is going to be taking over the coverage. tomorrow, of course, we will have follow-up on all tof the
verdict, which ever way it is, and tamron hall takes over right now. tamron? >> thank you, andrea. thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen, we have a verdict and at 2:15 we will hear the verdict of the casey anthony murder trial. and we have reports from kerry sanders standing outside of the orlando courtroom. and kerry, let me get an update on how the jury deliberated. this is the first few day and as you recalled less than 11 hours, people are stunned, the twitter and facebook and phonelines and people are stunned that we have a verdict in the high-profile case. >> and so we have seven women, and five men who returned to the room, elected a foreman and as you noted in 11 hours according to my math came back with a verdict. when george and cindy anthony were notified, they made their way into the courthouse, and of course, as you can imagine, because of their roles in all of this, the cameras surrounding
them and cindy anthony angry and pushing and pushing until she got into the courtroom. we can see them now seated in the courtroom and george anthony there, and it is a gut-wrenching experience not just for them during this trial, but for three years of wondering what happens. cindy anthony unwilling to accept that her daughter was involved in anything that happened to her little grandchild, caylee, the girl that she adored, the child that she told me she would have raised as her own if she could have, and in many ways was already doing that. cindy opened up her house and casey and caylee lived in that house with them. so, all of the lawyers are now this the courtroom except for jose baez who is the defense attorney. i know that, because producer jim liechtenstein is in the courtroom while i am out here. there was an elaborate plan put
forth in the court, and we know that when the verdict is handed to the judge, it is handed to the clerk, and the clerk quote publishes it, and she will read it. we will all hear her words as she reads it. >> let me bring in anne bremner, and meg stricklestrickler, and t me start out with you. we have talked a lot about the case, and let me get to the reaction of the jurors deliberating fewer than 11 hours in the case. >> i earlier predicted on the air that i knew that they would have a verdict today and i was over at the courthouse and watching for them and i saw the pizza delivery man at noon, and both lawyers and judge perry on the case, but this is a case where they have been together for so long and the felony murder or the murder one is very simple, and the verdict form is long but simple which ever way they go, and a short verdict. some say it is guilty when it is a short deliberation, but a lot of of people say it could be not